In the winter of 1997, a client asked us to send an email message to dog people
online. As a PR agency which had worked in the pet/animal sector for decades, getting a message to a group of people
wasn't uncommon. We logged onto the then new World Wide Web and began our search for a publication or mail list. It wasn't
difficult. In those days, there weren't many sites online. Five hours later, the client was called.
"There is nothing online that you can use," he was told. "Nothing."
CFNA Inc had produced hundreds of publications, brochures and even a few books since its start in '83. We
told the client, no problem, we'd create the solution for him. That day in January of 1997 was when the emailed
publication Canine Times was born. We went online, found a mailing program, and then went to UseNet (DejaNews predecessor),
and made a few announcements. We were amazed when person after person after person subscribed. Canine Times didn't
even have a web site! Never in our professional careers had we experienced such ease in connecting with people.
To the best of our knowledge, Canine Times was the first emailed dog zine on the internet.
From that naive beginning grew Dog Owner's Digest. As the years passed, what started as
as tool to meet the need of one client has evolved into a business publishing a digital magazine of interest
to many different types of dog people. Some dog owners are serious and want serious information. Some love jokes and
want nothing serious. Others want both. And still other people could care less about either category; they simply want
information to solve a here-and-now problem. People are as unique as the dogs that love them.
The publication has grown and changed, looking for ways to meet needs and attract more dog people. It
has hit dead-end's and had to turn around, seen excitement that peaked and passed, explored terrain looking for
what was good and what to leave behind. It has had to face the reality that it has to make money to survive --
something that wasn't in the business plan when it was stated in 1997.
Bumps still abound.
Now, we have more than 7,000 English-speaking dog people who subscribe to Dog Owner's Digest, whose sections are
delivered by email. Our goal is to deliver laughter, stories that touch the heart and information
that teaches people how to be the best dog caretakers and companions possible. We also want to let readers know
of the many interesting and helpful dog products on the market. If we can help dogs and their caretakers, then
we'll have accomplished a great deed.
We are trying. Let us know how we can help you or do better.